A serial scam artist father and his daughter have been sentenced for a tax fraud scheme that ran for four years.
Both based in Georgia, Ezra Hatcher, Sr., of Hephzibah, and Sherry Hatcher, of Augusta, operated a tax preparation business. Between 2014 and 2018, the duo filed 21 fraudulent returns for clients.
Per an official release from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the " returns included false information relating to Schedule C expenses, income, and earned income credits, causing the IRS to issue excess refunds amounting to nearly $75,000."
Hatcher, Sr., who previously served time in federal prison for pleading guilty to preparing false income tax returns in 1998, was sentenced to 24 months in prison for this offense. He will also serve three years of probation upon release.
In addition, the former tax preparer must pay a restitution fee of $69,682 for Conspiracy to Defraud the United States.
His daughter avoided jail time but must serve five years of probation and must pay $4,141 in restitution. Both individuals are prohibited from preparing taxes for anyone other than themselves in the future.
U.S. Attorney David H. Estes said:
"Family run small businesses are the backbone of American free enterprise, and the Hatchers could have established themselves as honorable participants in the tax preparation business. Instead, serial scam artist Ezra Hatcher made a business of defrauding taxpayers, and he and his daughter are being held accountable for their crimes."
IRS-Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge James E. Dorsey also weighed in, sharing, "The Hatchers abused their clients' trust in an effort to fraudulently gain more funds."
What do you think about this father/daughter scheme?
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